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By looking at the site today, it seems that "higher education" is an euphemism for "doctorate". The definition stage however doesn't imply that (1 2 3...)

Is Academia only about PhD, postdoc and teaching positions? Are questions about Master's, Bachelor's, High School etc. off-topic?

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    Most questions, even in the definition stage, seem to be from people who are (or aspire to be) employed in academia (as instructors or researchers), rather than people who are only enrolled in academia (as students). There are some exceptions, though. – JeffE Feb 20 '12 at 16:12
  • I often wish the website was cut into three websites: teaching, research and careers/applications. – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 22 '15 at 16:50
  • i think it makes sense because "academia" is not a term used often by people who aren't pursuing a master's or phd (or equivalent). sure, you could call undergrad academia and be technically correct, but that's just not the way the word is used. "academia", by and large, means postgrad or teaching/researching at a university. – ell Dec 3 '15 at 23:03
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I would not define "higher education" as including high school. The usual definition includes college and above (in other words, after having completed the equivalent of a high school degree). In practice, though, I would expect a SE devoted to academia to have most of its participants at the level of a graduate student (or at least "rising" graduate student).

  • How about "rising bachelor's" questions, e.g. about the super complicated UK admission system. – badp Feb 15 '12 at 23:46
  • @badp: the administrative mechanisms of a specific institution are definitely on-topic imho. Details about courses and professors are not. Curriculum decisions may or may not be on-topic, depending if they are of general interest. – Stefano Borini Feb 16 '12 at 0:02
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    Actually, I'd argue that the administrative mechanisms of a specific institution are too localized for SE. Framed as more general questions about administrative mechanisms, though, would be OK. I suppose questions about admissions to college would technically fall under the group's purview, but I don't think that most HS students would look at "Academia" and think "board to ask about university admissions"; the term implicitly suggests something higher up the educational food chain. – aeismail Feb 16 '12 at 6:15
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Is Academia only about PhD, postdoc and teaching positions? Are questions about Master's, Bachelor's, High School etc. off-topic?

This SE is about academics and Academia. Questions about Master and Bachelor degree are on-topic, unless they are specific to a given university course. That is, if your question is about required documentation to apply to university X, in my opinion it is on-topic. If it's about a course or a professor at a given university, it is off-topic.

High school is off-topic.

  • I would tend to disagree. Admissions questions specific to a single school are generally solvable with a single link (to a web page for the university's admissions office), and therefore are really just like questions about professors or courses. – aeismail Feb 16 '12 at 6:18
  • Also it seems as though questions about required documentation would be much better if posed to the administrative staff at the given university. – user136 Feb 18 '12 at 22:18
  • @Jason: Sometimes yes, but in some cases there are "cheat codes" that are not told, remembered, or allowed, and can simplify your life. One for all: the order of operations and offices to visit in order to settle in a new country. First the contract? first the visa? first the bank account ? Believe me, every country and academic institution has different regulations on this regard. – Stefano Borini Feb 18 '12 at 22:53
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I really like @JeffE's comment:

Most questions, even in the definition stage, seem to be from people who are (or aspire to be) employed in academia (as instructors or researchers), rather than people who are only enrolled in academia (as students).

And I think that is the guideline we should use for higher education means. Basically, education that leads towards academic life.

So a question like

I am a highschool senior aspiring to be a scientist. What should I focus on in undergrad?

Would be more about higher education than

I have a bachelor's degree in accounting. Will a master's program increase my employability in finance?

Even though the second question is about a 'higher level' (Masters usually comes after Bachelors) of education, it is not higher in the sense of not really leading to academic life.

That being said, I think we should be cautious about admission questions and advice for people applying to undergrad.

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